AUGUST 15, 2012 — Finland's Arctech Helsinki Shipyard reports that it will complete the Arctic offshore supply vessel Vitus Bering four months ahead of schedule. The vessel is now set for delivery December 18. Initially, it was to be delivered in April 2013.
Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is a 50/50 joint venture between STX Finland and Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation. It is building two identical offshore icebreaking supply vessels for Russia's largest shipping group Sovcomflot (SCF Group), a world leader in ice-management and shipping in harsh environments.
The vessels will supply Exxon Neftegas Limited's platform in Arkutun-Dagi oil and gas field in Sakhalin area, Far East Russia. The development of the field is proceeding at good pace, which is why the icebreaking offshore supply vessels are needed in the area.
The main task of the Arctic offshore vessels is to supply the oil and gas production platform and to protect it from the ice.
Both vessels measure 99.9 m in length and 21.7 m in breadth. Their four engines have a total power of 18,000 kW and a propulsion power of 13,000 kW.
The two vessels have been designed for extreme environmental conditions, they will be operating in thick drifting ice in temperatures as cold as minus 35 C°. Their icebreaking capability is extremely high, they are able to operate independently in 1.7 meter thick ice.
As multipurpose vessels, they are capable of carrying various type of cargo and are equipped for oil spill response, fire fighting, and rescue operations.
"The building of Vitus Bering has proceeded well, and we are now able to finalize it four months in advance," says the Project Manager for the newbuildings, Jonas Packalén of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. He adds that the building of the sister vessel is proceeding well and its launching is planned for November-December 2012.
"Vitus Bering and her sister vessel are great examples of Finnish shipbuilding," says Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. "Modern design and long-term shipbuilding experience are combined in these projects. The finalizing of the vessels four months in advance has required excellent cooperation and team spirit. I'm sure that Vitus Bering and her sister vessel are a good start for prospective projects with participation of Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation and Sovcomflot for future work in the Russian Arctic.
"The building of these two multifunctional icebreaking offshore vessels is the first order for Arctech, the joint venture owned by United Shipbuilding Corporation and STX Finland," says Andrey Djachkov, the President of United Shipbuilding Corporation. "This kind of cooperation between Russia and Finland is totally new, and I am happy to see that these new generation vessels with strong ice class are being built together with Russian and Finnish specialists. The vessels will be registered in Russia, they will work under the Russian flag and the crew will be Russian. Russia has a long experience working with Finnish shipbuilders. I think that collaboration in building these high technology vessels will undoubtedly assist further development of the Russian-Finnish shipbuilding cluster."